Every year since I’ve been in business I’ve set an income goal. The first year my goal was to replace my “day job” salary.
That one was easy.
The next year was a little more challenging. I wanted to visit the fabled land of SIX FIGURES. (Did you hear that in your head in a big, booming male voice, like someone portraying God in a movie? Because I totally did.)
I didn’t quite make six figures that year, but it was close. Like within a few hundred dollars close. Not a bad show, you might say.
The year after that, I played small. I wanted to increase my income by just 10%. It was a safe, easy goal that I was confident I could achieve. And I did.
But here’s the thing: I didn’t really have to stretch to reach it. I didn’t do anything different in my business. I didn’t raise my rates or improve my skills or market more agressively. Clients gave me more work, so I made more money.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with that, really. Lots of people set goals in tiny increments like that, and their businesses grow at a steady pace, and if they don’t, well, then at least the failure is small, right? And if you were taught anything about goal setting as a kid, that’s probably the method you learned. I know that’s what I’d always heard.
Then I read the 10X Rule, and it challenged my thinking.
In it, Grant Cardone states that people have three states of action: no action, normal action, and retreat. I achieved my 10% income boost simply by taking normal action.
But what if I had taken massive action instead? What if I set my goal not for a 10% raise, but for a 100% raise? Had I done that, I would have been forced to change up the way I work. I couldn’t just keep on keeping on, because that wouldn’t even get me close to my goal.
This year I took Grant Cardone’s advice and set an audacious goal to double my income. That’s 10X last year’s goal, and just saying it out loud makes me a little queasy.
What if I don’t make it? What will people think
What if I can’t do it? I’ll feel like a failure!
What if I don’t have the skills/contacts/confidence to pull it off? My ego can’t take that kind of hit.
Those thoughts and others like them can be enough to make you crawl back onto that safe plateau and never attempt to reach any higher. And if you don’t aim higher, you’ll never know what you might have been able to accomplish.
The Real Benefit of 10 X Thinking
As Grant Cardone says in his book, setting such big goals forced me to change the way I think. I couldn’t just continue to slide. I had to have a plan.
- I restructured my business to accommodate more clients
- I (dramatically) raised my rates
- I repositioned myself as a “team” rather than a solo-preneur
- I actively sought out speaking, guest posting and other “get seen” opportunities
- I invested in new shopping cart software and an affiliate program
- I became more aggressive in persuing potential clients
- I spent more time on the phone “closing the sale”
- I got rid of projects and clients that were no longer a good fit, so I could free up my time and energy on new (and better paying) gigs
Had I not set such a big goal at the beginning of the year, I would not have done any of those things. And you know what? It’s paid off.
I haven’t doubled my income yet, but I’m well on my way. I may not even make it this year, and that’s ok too, because I’m already well above my “safe” goal. Without the extra push from my 10 X goal though, I would still be plugging along, doing just what I had to do to get by.
(Update: At the end of the year, I did not double my previous year’s income. But we did make a significant 60% increase, so I’d call that a huge win!)
What’s Your Big Goal?
Your goal doesn’t have to be strictly monetary, either. Maybe you want to take a vacation, or write a book, or attend a conference. What if instead of a long weekend at the lake, you plan 10 days in Europe? Rather than writing one book, write a whole series. And instead of just attending a conference, set a goal to speak at one.
What would that do for your business. More importantly, what would it do for your life?
So tell me…What’s your big goal? Now multiply it by ten and share in the comments.